Facebook is Readying an Instant News Notification App

373310729_42d49cf19d_oBetween Hello, Paper, Messenger, Save, and other apps, Facebook is constantly spinning out its features into standalone apps. Now there’s a report that Facebook is working on a notification app.

Business Insider reports that FB is working on a breaking news Twitter-like app where brands will be able to send out blasts to their followers, but from what little we know I’d say this sounds more like a marketing tool than anything.

Here’s what little BI has learned about how the app will work:

  • Users will download a new mobile app by Facebook.
  • Users will then choose partnering publications they want to follow on the app and topics (or “stations” and “substations”) they want to receive breaking news alerts about. Facebook has apparently selected only a few companies to launch with.
  • When there is breaking news, partnering publications can create mobile notifications that will blast out to all of the followers instantly, as fast as a tweet would.
  • The mobile alerts allow for up to 100 characters of text and a url to the news article on that publication’s website. One publication can’t create a notification for another, for example.
  • The blast will go out, and when people click on the link, they’ll be taken to the publication’s website to read the article.

That sounds more like something that brands would be interested in than news publishers. Sure, web publishers want page views, but they can’t pay as much as a brand would. And when we get down to basics, FB would only be working on tech like this so they can sell user eyeballs to advertisers.

Also, “taken to the publication’s website to read the article”? That doesn’t jive with Facebook Instant Articles, so it makes me wonder just how accurate this report is.

In any case, this new app might never see the light of day. It might not be intended as a stand-alone app but could simply be a way for Facebook to test new tech before it is integrated into the Facebook platform.

It’s really too early to say.

image by suneko

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

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  1. […] leaked in August that Facebook was planning to launch a news app where FB users could subscribe to specific news orgs, and according to the Financial Times that app is going to launch next […]

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